LEXINGTON, Ky. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today it has awarded a grant of approximately $3 million to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) to support ongoing oversight and monitoring of the environmental cleanup at the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site in south central Ohio.
The Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office of DOE Environmental Management (EM) will administer the new grant over a five-year period that will end on June 30, 2021. The anticipated annual funding during that time period will be up to approximately $616,000. The grant will support ongoing activities funded under a previous grant that expired on June 30.
The financial assistance helps the State of Ohio recover costs and supports a framework for successful cooperation between DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), and Ohio EPA in addressing environmental impacts associated with past and present activities at the site. Numerous activities will continue pursuant to environmental requirements, regulatory orders, agreements, and relevant sampling and investigational work plans pertaining to ongoing site decontamination and decommissioning actions, and environmental restorations and cleanup projects. This includes providing information on preferred regulatory and technical approaches to ongoing cleanup and related decisions, including future site uses.
The Portsmouth Site was constructed by the Atomic Energy Commission in the early 1950s for the purpose of enriching uranium for national defense purposes, and it later provided enriched uranium for commercial nuclear power fuel. The EM cleanup at the site commenced in 1989, and the plant ceased gaseous diffusion enrichment operations in 2001. The mission of DOE EM is to complete the safe cleanup of the environmental legacy brought about from five decades of nuclear weapons development and government-sponsored nuclear energy research.
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